Copyright, Jaci Rae and North Shore Records, Inc.
I could barely get my request out. "Lord," I asked one December afternoon two years ago as loneliness and worry knocked me breathless again, "please show me something special I can do to help Mom."
Dad was gone. When he died one month before the holidays, I felt so drained that I considered skipping Christmas. But my grieving, depressed mother needed support. She and Dad were four days shy of celebrating their 55th wedding anniversary when cancer snatched my father away.
A week passed. Then one afternoon while I listened to a talk radio program about money, the show's host read a fax sent to him by a disgruntled shopper. Seems this tired consumer spent an afternoon tromping through stores, growing more exhausted with every step. She resented the pressure of purchasing gifts for mere acquaintances.
"I stayed in that mall for hours," the woman said. "My head pounded. My feet hurt. My stomach swirled. I developed a rotten attitude and just wished Christmas would hurry up and get over."
That's a familiar feeling, I thought. I wanted to hurry the holiday away, too.
"But then I noticed two children standing in line ahead of me. The boy looked about nine years old. The girl, maybe five. Neither child wore clothes warm enough for the day. Their hair was uncombed, and, well, honestly, both kids smelled awful."
My dad grew up poor. I wondered if anyone had ever felt that way about him.
My mind flashed back to a time I saw Dad give $2.00 to a shaky old man in the grocery store line. We never discussed it, but I'd never forgotten the scene.
The tale teller's voice broke as she told how both kids beamed. "The little boy explained that the shoes were for his mother. Then the girl piped up, 'My mamma has 'kemia. Daddy said she's going to Heaven soon. In Heaven they have gold streets. We're getting Mama shoes to match.'"
In stunned silence I realized God had spoken. He was reminding me where Dad now walked—on streets of gold. Would gold shoes help my heartbroken mother?
At home I found a pair of small doll shoes. After coating them with gold glitter and clear paint, I mounted them onto a mahogany plaque. With a burst of energy, I shuffled through a drawer to find my calligraphy pen and a piece of gold parchment. My hands trembled as I wrote: Departed to Walk on Streets of Gold. After gluing the parchment to the wood, I smiled at the finished project.
On Christmas Mom's face brightened when she unwrapped the gold shoes and my handwritten explanation. Even though the season still held sadness, the days brought joy as we talked about Pa plodding down gold pavement. I knew the Lord would guide Mother and me as we began taking steps in a healing direction.Take me back the story page please
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